The Cleveland Browns announced a multi-year partnership with Bally Interactive that makes Bally’s the official sports betting partner of the Browns. The partnership includes a Bally’s-branded gaming lounge at First Energy Stadium and a rollout of the Bally Bet Sportsbook to the Ohio sports betting market.
According to the announcement, the Bally Bet Sportsbook app will include fan-friendly digital content and a free-to-play game, offering users the opportunity to win a host of Browns-themed promotional prizes.
Some details, including the location of the lounge inside the stadium, are still being finalized. But the Browns are indicating that the app and the facility could go live when Ohio launches online sports betting.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission has been tasked with creating rules and regulations for governing sports betting in the state. Ohio has set a deadline of Jan. 1, 2023, for sports gambling to begin, but it could launch sooner.
Bally’s increases presence in Ohio market
Bally’s Interactive is the online gaming division of Bally’s Corporation. The Providence, Rhode Island-based company currently operates 14 casinos across 10 states.
Bally’s has been behind other industry players in seeking gaming alliances and licenses in states that have legalized sports gambling. In Michigan, the company missed out on all 15 licenses available.
In 2020, Bally’s announced an $85 million, wide-ranging deal with Sinclair Broadcasting for the naming rights to 21 regional networks including Fox Sports Ohio. This came as consumers are moving away from traditional cable in favor of streaming content in what the industry calls “cord-cutting.”
This move could mean Ballys shareholders are looking for a return on their investment. The leadership of the Cleveland Browns sees the new arrangement as an opportunity for both organizations to increase revenues.
In a statement released by ClevelandBrowns.com, Haslam Sports Group Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dave Jenkins expressed confidence that the partnership is a win for both the team and sports fans across the state.
“In addition to their incredible resources and expertise, Bally’s Interactive has the fan-first mindset that is consistent with our focus and pivotal to creating successful, fully-integrated sports betting experiences, and we look forward to supporting Bally’s efforts to provide these innovative opportunities to Browns fans and all sports fans in Ohio in the near future,” Jenkins said.
“As we continue to work closely with sports betting regulators in our state to ensure a responsible and timely launch, we are excited and confident that our partnership with Bally’s will ultimately offer industry-leading benefits to fans throughout Cleveland and Ohio.”
Ohio sportsbook application deadlines set
Last week, the Ohio Casino Control Commission took another major step in the march toward legalized sports betting in Ohio.
The commission announced application deadlines and approval windows for future Ohio sportsbooks during its monthly meeting. Ohio will begin accepting applications on June 15 with deadlines of July 15 and Aug. 15 for different types of licenses.
According to Ohio’s Sports Gaming Implementation Timeline, the commission will begin accepting applications on June 15 for the following proprietors:
- Type-A, -B, & -C Proprietors
- First-designated Mobile Management Services Providers (MMSPs)
- Management Services Providers
The deadline for these applications is July 15. Type-A licenses are for online sports betting companies, and Type-B licenses are for physical sportsbook locations.
Type-C licenses cover self-service or clerk-operated terminals. The commission will begin accepting applications for Type-C sports gaming hosts and second-designated MMSPs on July 15. The deadline to submit these applications is Aug. 15.
PlayOhio will continue to track the latest launch news on our live updates page.